Ontario Government Responds on Gas Prices and Indigenous Sacred Fires

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THUNDER BAY – Ontario Premier Doug Ford, along with Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General, and John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry were part of the daily press conference in Toronto on May 2, 2020.

NetNewsLedger asked the Premier about the jump in fuel prices this week in Northwestern Ontario.

A litre of gasoline in 70 cents in Toronto, and 96 cents in Thunder Bay. The price increase comes a few days after the price of a barrel of oil in Canada hit rock bottom prices.

Check Gas Prices on NNL

Travel issues for Northern Ontario residents are hard enough with higher fuel prices and with the suspension of intercity bus transportation that started on May 2, 2020, with Kasper Transportation suspending service from White River to the Manitoba border.

Premier Ford advises that Kenora MPP Greg Rickford is on this issue, and the province is very aware of the higher costs.

“It is unacceptable,” says Premier Ford. “This is completely unacceptable.”

Sacred Fires for Indigenous Ceremony

Our second question was on the issue of Indigenous people and the importance of sacred fires in their culture.

NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler says that the importance of sacred fires is a key part of ceremony. It is also a key part of the grieving and healing process for the people.

Minister John Yakabuski advises that for a sacred fire, all the Ministry would ask is that they are notified, and that ministry officials are aware that those calls will be coming in.

The provincial fire ban is in effect and many cities have also instituted fire bans. However from Minister Yakabuski, for Indigenous people, there is an exemption for sacred fires for ceremonial purposes.

Link: Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Fire Contacts:

Northeast Region
Isabelle Chenard
Fire Information Officer
705-564-6156

Shayne McCool
Fire Information Officer
705-564-6146

Northwest Region
Jonathan Scott
Fire Information Officer
807-220-1412

Chris Marchand
Fire Information Officer
807-220-1697